From the Director

A Word from our Executive Director

UniForum '96--The Catalyst for Change

As you're aware, the Unix and open systems industry is meeting this month at UniForum '96. Tens of thousands of end users and vendors will be rubbing shoulders for five days beginning Monday, Feb. 12, at San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center. It will be my great pleasure to meet many of you who will be in attendance.

I've written in past columns about the value of the UniForum Conference, the excitement to be found on the show floor and the uniqueness of our keynote line-up. Now I'd like to emphasize the importance of this event as a catalyst for change. Over the years, it has been the scene of many important announcements--COSE, CDE and the OSF reorganization come to mind--and UniForum '96 will provide its share of similar new initiatives.

While I cannot give specific information (because negotiations are proceeding as I write this), I assure you that on Wednesday morning, Feb. 14, there will be a press conference at which significant news will be announced, which will affect all users of Unix and open technologies. The Unix industry is collaborating as never before, and the details will be unveiled at UniForum '96. Furthermore, I am reliably informed that a number of major vendors of Unix-based operating systems also will make announcements that will bring us up to date on what lies in store for the future of Unix on advanced architectures.

The news that will be made at UniForum '96 reflects a reality that bears repeating: Customers of Unix-based products and services, and the industry that serves them, have too big a stake riding in the game to lose sight of the payoff they both gain when interoperability, scalability and mission-critical reliability are truly realized. That's why the key players keep trying; it's what fuels their research and development, and it's what keeps their clients loyally Unix-centric. The preferred model of advanced computing yesterday, today and for the foreseeable future is centered on Unix-based solutions, and it will be the family of vendors and users who will ensure that these solutions are open.

The solutions you'll see at UniForum '96 are what some have taken to calling "extreme computing"; this good phrase conjures up breathtaking feats of computing that solve real business problems that are hard to crack. What you'll see at the conference is how Unix--the ultimate model of extreme computing--dominates enterprise computing where the problems faced by users go far beyond the desktop. Sure, spreadsheets are important, but businesses are run on Unix. At UniForum '96 you'll also see these solutions being offered for the first time. That's because the industry chooses UniForum as its primary showcase for news, for initiatives and for product rollouts. There's a lot going on at UniForum this year, and I hope you're there to enjoy it.

UniForum's IT Solutions Premieres

You have in your hands a potential collector's item: the first issue of UniForum's IT Solutions magazine. Many of you will recognize the contents as being very similar to those of UniForum Monthly--and that's on purpose. For those of you new to UniForum, what we have in store is a monthly publication that will cover all aspects of advanced computing, with a particular interest in open technologies and an avowed bias toward Unix. We hope you'll enjoy reading it, either by subscription or as a member of the UniForum Association. Let us hear your opinions by sending e-mail to

Richard H. Jaross is the executive director of the UniForum Association. He can be reached at